It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to a shiny new year and you start making plans (often called New Year’s Resolutions or the Annual Business Plan).  People who know me often hear me referring to them as ‘New Year’s Revolutions’ (with my tongue firmly in my cheek) on the grounds that they will either change the world (a revolution) or come around again next year (a different kind of revolution) because they didn’t happen yet!

However, I do believe that if you don’t have a goal and a plan to achieve it, nothing will happen.  The reason many New Year’s Resolutions or goals in the Annual Business Plan come around again is because the goal hasn’t been broken down into activities with deadlines and/or hasn’t been communicated to the people who will be responsible for helping to achieve it.

When it comes to marketing for your business, think of it as the stuffing for your sausage machine!  If you don’t have a way to keep business flowing in and giving your reputation a lovely, glossy shine you’ll suffer from feast and famine.  This is what happens when you’re so busy you don’t have time to do business generation – until that activity comes to an end and there’s a gaping hole.

A simple marketing plan

This is a basic plan – and you can add to it, but it will ensure that you have at least a foundation for business development.

Ideal client avatar:  This is a detailed description of precisely who you want to work with – their problems, challenges and headaches.  Also where to find them, which social media they are most active on, what they read and watch, where they network or visit.

The tools to reach them:  How you’ll be able to reach them, engage with them and/or influence them.  This will include social media, articles in selected publications or appearances on broadcast media, video material on YouTube, leaflets in their local venues e.g. gyms, clubs, at exhibitions, etc.

Budget:  Everything has a cost, whether it’s actual cash or the cost of your time (or that of your team or a contractor).  How much are you going to invest in business generation?  This is often a percentage of turnover or profit, but ideally it needs to be converted into a hard number of pounds (or whatever currency you operate in) as you don’t pay bills in percentages of your profit!

This now needs to be converted into an equation:

Number of contacts made / number of enquiries generated / number of proposals written = number of sales made.

For example 100 contacts made / 10 enquiries / 3 proposals  = 1 sale made

So using those stats every sale requires making 100 contacts.

Your numbers may be different, so you will need to track your results to work out what they are in order to work your own equation out.  Now how will you make the number of contacts you need in order to generate the sales you want.

Your marketing plan will have actions to take, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and as every small action will build to deliver your marketing targets, you’re much more likely to get the results you want.

My tip:  Keep a check on progress at least monthly to ensure the actions are matching the figures in your plan.

An abundant and prosperous 2024 from all of us at Inside News!